BP (Belfast Puss)
The sanctuary got a call from a group of people who had caught a cat that had been terrorising a neighbourhood in Belfast. They said they'd dropped it off at a vets for us and that was that. We had no history, background, location, etc. We picked him up from the vets; and was surprised to see what great condition he was in; in fact he was overweight.
We advertised him at first, believing he must have a home somewhere going by his condition. The longer we had him though, with no contact from anyone, we started to think differently.
Belfast Puss was agressive and would attack the moment we neared. For him it wasn't just a fear reaction; he just didn't like people.
We advertised him for a home; because we knew from the group who contacted about him originally that he was not cat friendly; and the sanctuary isn't exactly set up for cats who don't like other cats.
We were hopeful that away from other cats and with some one to one care he would come around. At times he could be almost affectionate; but his jeckyl and Hyde personailty turned all would be homes away.
We tried to introduce him slowly to other cats, he wasn't having it. We gave him lots of one on one time; his mood swings didn't change.
He was vetted, neutered, given a full clean bill of health. We have lots of experience of cats with big personalities but we were running out of options for him; his agression to other cats was a major worry; even if we let him live out his days as another yard cat we couldn't ensure he wouldn't fight the other cats. We tried again to find him a home. His behaviour with people had improved lots and we were truly hopeful; to be honest we felt like this was his only option. If we couldn't find him a home with no other pets what could we do to ensure his life was a good life? He would even attack the dogs if they were near.
Options all but gone we were considering the quality of life for a cat stuck in a cage. Yes, we were considering if it was kinder to put him to sleep. He couldn't be trusted with other cats, or dogs. He attacked the potential homes. We adored him, many of the staff and volunteers wishing they could offer him a home; but with all with pets of their own even that wasn't suitable.
Then in May 2019 we had a cardboard box dropped off, inside was 5 kittens, no more than 2 weeks old. They'd been found with their mother who had died and the poor kittens were still trying to feed. We set them up in the cabin opposite BP's crate and started the task of hand rearing. From the first moment BP responded to their cries and when he had his exercise time loose in the cabin he would brush himself agaisnt their crate and nuzzle through the bars.
During a late night feeding, Lyn the manager, judging the moment, let BP loose while she fed, immediately he hopped up beside her and when she finished each kitten he would lick it clean. Once finished she closed the kittens up and looked at BP who watched each of the tiny cats with fasicination.
This mean old cat had a heart, one bursting full of love and paitence for these kittens. As the kittens aged and were allowed more freedom to explore BP would often be found in grooming or teaching them to jump or how to play. He would let them climb all over him; he was so tolerant and paitent.
When people came to see the kittens he would sit protectively watching while also keeping them in line.
BP is a permanent resident at the sanctuary and he is a very much loved resident. He has come an incredible long way since he was first rescued and is always the first to greet people. He now lives with 9 other cats in the Cabin and has been a big part of helping other scared and nervous cats come around; including Minstrel and Sarah and helping rear other kittens.
He is often seen curled up in a bed with some of his 'kittens' and friends.